Beaumont track club competes at AAU Junior Olympics
Four members of the Beaumont Jaguars Track Club competed at the 2014 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines, Iowa, from July 26 – Aug. 2, once again showing Beaumont athletes are true competitors by bringing home two medals and placing high in multiple categories.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games is known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States. It has become the showcase event of the AAU Sports Program. The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports, and is now one of the largest nonprofit, volunteer sports organizations in the country.
Coach Jonathan Martin has been working with the Beaumont Jaguars Track Club all summer and most of the team members for years. He volunteers his time, as does assistant coach Lekeisha McHenry, to train the youth in the club in jumping, running, throwing discus, shot put and more. He says the youth are looking for something productive to do with their time, and track and field is both healthy and fun for the local students.
“A lot of kids are doing other stuff than what these kids are doing,” Coach Martin said. “We are keeping kids off the streets and doing the right thing. We want to help youth stay out of trouble and be healthy.”
According to McHenry, the four young athletes from the Beaumont Jaguars who went to the Junior Olympics, Jonathan Martin Jr., Sir Zollocoffer, Keemon Jones Jr. and Minnie Martin, competed with teams from all over the nation in a variety of track and field events during the games. When it was all over, Jonathan Martin Jr. scored a fourth place medal, making him fourth in the nation McHenry says, in the 1500-meter run/walk competition. Sir Zollocoffer also received a medal for fifth place in the turbo javelin event in the national event.
While four of the team members were in Iowa at the Junior Olympics, a fifth team member, Corey George Jr., was competing in College Station at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (T.A.A.F.) Games of Texas. He qualified for the state competition in the 100-meter dash and the long jump.
McHenry says she is proud of her team for their dedication and efforts.
“They are a great group,” praised McHenry. “I am very proud of all of them.”
Youth interested in a training with the Beaumont Jaguars Track Club should contact Coach Martin at (409) 454-8559 or McHenry at (409) 454-0081.